CJAC: Civil Justice Association of California

Growing Concern over ADA Suits in San Francisco

By Todd Roberson on 11/28/2011 @ 10:48 PM

Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act

A new push to reduce ADA lawsuits has emerged in a city that has always proven to be unafraid of fighting for change. San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu recently introduced an ordinance to give priority for construction permits that would bring businesses into compliance with disabled access laws, would mandate that commercial landlords make tenants signing or renewing a lease aware of potential ADA issues, and would allow small self-service restaurants and retail coffee stores to exclude the square footage of floor area required for disabled access from the calculation of maximum allowable square footage.

Read the details here.

Chiu echoes a familiar refrain, saying in this SF Examiner article, "There have been a handful of individuals who have made a living out of suing small businesses. It's a cottage industry."

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Andrew Ross has honed in on this issue and Chiu's proposal the last couple weeks with two columns on these "opportunistic" lawsuits, the resources available to small businesses for help with compliance, and some of the victims in San Francisco that are highlighted in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's new "Latino Faces of Lawsuit Abuse" campaign. Read Ross' pieces here and here.

Here's hoping that lawmakers in other cities and in our State Legislature will come to share the same level of concern that Supervisor Chiu has and will soon be willing to take proactive steps to curb these lawsuits.

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